An initiative of Water harvesting: Check Dams at Peth in Maharashtra

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Source: Seva-English      Date: 21 Apr 2014 14:34:17

21 April 2014:

Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Bhonsla military school Students, Forest Dept. and Villagers join hands  to build four check dams in Tal. Peth, Dist. Nashik

Water harvesting is majorly discussed issue these days. But a remarkable step has been taken in this direction by the workers of Vanvasi kalyan ashram, Maharashtra, Nashik branch.

vanvasi kalyan ashram has formed a group of volunteers’, majority of them engineers and contractors,  at Nasik. 










Bhosala Military school students at the check dam site

   Recently along with a group of students (53 boys+17 girls) of Bhonsala Military College Nashik and the few villagers from the padas of peth taluka along with kalyan ashram karykartas reached to the interiors of Lavali and sadarpada along with forest dept. Officers.


Bhosala Military school studentsworking on check dam site

The experience of engineers of Kailayn Ashram, the energy of youth of Bhosala Military school in Nasik, the co-operation of forest department officers, and the constructive approach and contribution of villagers was so unique and effective that they   constructed four check dams in a day.

Bhosala Military school students at the completed check dam


Tree plantation was also done at this time. Forest department helped at this time by giving sapling for plantation the villagers took responsibility of taking care of these plants.

This experience of building check dams was so exiting for the college team, that in spite of working for the whole day none of them showed any sign of tiresomeness. They shared food with the villagers very happily.

Now  villagers have begun constructing houses with bricks (which require a lot of water during construction) and some have also starting growing tomato.

"We have constructed six check dams in three villages. Each of these villages has a population of around 350. Here the rainfall is three to four times that of Nashik, but this is a hilly area on the slopes of the Sahyadri range, which is why storing water was a major concern. Now water is being retained till the end of May," said Vivek Pendse, one of the members of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. "Being civil engineers, we could construct the check dams. The forest officials helped us a lot. We also have volunteers from other professions," said Pendse.

Talking about the benefits of check dams, Pendse said that wells have been filled and cattle have sufficient water to drink. "Earlier, cattle deaths were common, due to scarcity of water from mid-May onwards. We carried out extensive research before constructing the check dams and arrested smaller flows of water from streams for the dams. These dams have to be repaired every year or two," Pendse said.

 Check Dams at Ragatvihir

In a similar initiative Villagers of Village Ragatvihar in taluka Surgana and students of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram run Ashram school built 6 no. of check dams (bandharas)

On 25 th October in village Ragatvihir of Guhigrampanchayat about 50 villagers with the help of 250 asharam school students run by Vanavasi kalian ashram, Maharashtra built 6 check dams on rivers flowing in village Ragatvihir.

Kalyan Ashram students working for the check dam


 About 50 villagers and 250 students started the work at 3 places each on two rivers flowing through village. At one of six places all girl students and villagers worked for whole day. After a lunch break at about 4 o clock five check dams were ready. Water was already flowing to bream. There was no end to joy of villagers. Stones and empty cement bags filled with soil were used as building material. Empty cement bags were supplied by vanavasi kalyan ashram karyakartas. Next day sixth check dam was also completed.

The completed check dam at Ragatvihir

Forest ranger of the area with his team members visited the site during the work. Sarpanch and ZP members were full day present at the shramadan and encouraged all participents. School principals Mr.khairnar and Mr. Nerkar, along with all teachers ,vanavasi kalyan ashram full timers Mr. Jagan Pawar, Mr. Jayaram Chaudhari left no stone unturned to make the shramadan event a success.